HC Deb 27 July 1960 vol 627 cc1632-3
10. Mr. H. Clark

asked the Postmaster-General what is the charge for a three-minute telephone call from Larne to Belfast; and if he will reduce this: charge.

Mr. Bevins

The present charge is 1s. 0d. throughout the 24 hours. As from 1st September next, and in accordance with the tariff changes I announced on the 6th July, this charge will be reduced to 9d. for calls made between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and on Sundays.

Mr. Clark

While thanking my right hon. Friend for the slight reduction which he is offering, may I ask him whether he will consider reducing the charge of the calls from Larne to Belfast to the ordinary 3d. tariff charge? There is a number of places very much further from Belfast than Larne where one can make the ordinary 3d. call, and one can also make the 3d. call over greater distances elsewhere. The high charge of telephone calls is a definite disincentive to businesses opening up in Larne.

Mr. Bevins

I will gladly look at this matter, but, as my hon. Friend knows, I should find it very difficult to meet his point of view without departing from the basis of charging, which applies in Northern Ireland and in the United Kingdom, on a group basis.